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Goal Scorer, Power Forward Bhathal Stays Close to Home with Wheat Kings

May 17, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Brandon Wheat Kings News Release

It's fitting for forward Prabh Bhathal to end up as a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Not only was he drafted by the only WHL team in his home province, he was actually on his way to Brandon when the pick was announced.

"I was driving out to Brandon for the Top-40 POE (Program of Excellence) camp," said Bhathal. "I was watching the draft live on YouTube and the website. That was when I found out."

The pick means Bhathal stays as close as possible to his hometown of Winnipeg, where he played in the U15 AAA ranks this season. From playing against the U15 AAA Wheat Kings, he's got a little familiarity with both Brandon and the hockey facilities available here.

"I was really excited about going to Brandon because it's close," Bhathal said, "and also because it's a wonderful organization."

And if the Wheat Kings saw Bhathal play in their back yard, there's a very good chance they saw him score. Just about every team in Manitoba on any given night saw him score, in fact. He posted a whopping 83 goals and 119 points this past season, not only leading the league in goals but scoring more than any player in the last 20 years and putting up as many goals as his next nine closest teammates.

"I'm a goal scorer, I'm a guy that is versatile and can be played in any situation," said Bhathal. "I battle in the corners, I can by physical at times when I need to be, a kind of typical power forward type guy... I always was ready every time I got the puck in any situation. I concentrated and found ways to score."

That would make him yet another exciting weapon up front for the Wheat Kings, who are building an arsenal of weaponry at forward. In addition to Bhathal, they also selected Chase Surkan in the first round of the draft (who posted more points than any player in Saskatchewan U15 over the past two decades) and have multiple high-scoring members of the U18 AAA Wheat Kings waiting in the wings.

"I'm aware that there is a bunch of young talent up there that's going to be joining the Wheat Kings," Bhathal said. "I think this could be a good, fun couple of years."

Bhathal's father was driving him up to Brandon for the POE and his parents have been with him all through his hockey journey, learning a new sport as they go. Because of that, Bhathal has gotten to see them discovering the game of hockey and becoming fans of it.

"It's been pretty exciting," he said. "It has its ups and downs, but watching them be excited about the sport and seeing them learn new things about it has been pretty exciting."

Bhathal added he's not a hundred percent sure where he'll play his first season of U18 AAA, but he's already played a few games with the Winnipeg Thrashers U18 squad

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